Research Areas

General Information

We are organization scholars who study the development of digital innovations and the intended and unintended consequences of the use of digital technologies in organizations. We do this by looking beyond the hypes and by actively engaging with organizational professionals who are managing, developing and using these new technologies.

There are few if any, places in the world where you can find state-of-the-art expertise encompassing the wide field of Digital Innovation, ranging from the development of smart technologies in ecosystems, to changing work practices under influence of AI, from crowdsourcing through online platforms to the changing role of the IT organization.

This is what makes the KIN Center for Digital Innovation a unique place in the world.

A hallmark of our way of working is that we do embedded research: we study the development and use of digital technologies within its context over longer periods of time and often through ethnographic methods of research. This allows us to develop a deep understanding of the phenomenon under study, to keep an open mind and include the often unexpected or unintended consequences of digital technologies in our explanations. Clearly, embedded research helps to create a real organizational impact as we learn to speak the language of the people we study and develop an understanding of their worldviews. It is only via such in-depth knowledge that we are able to engage with organizations and help them in their transitions towards the digital.

This research is conducted by a multi-disciplinary group of researchers with academic backgrounds in business administration, sociology, communication science, anthropology, philosophy, engineering, industrial design, and computer science.

The KIN Center for Digital Innovation studies the area of digital innovation from three interrelated research roadmaps.

Research-themes

Future of work: Changing work and organizations in the digital age 

In this theme, we study the future of work in light of digital technologies. When digital technologies such as AI, robotics or smart devices are used we see new ways of working and new ways of organizing emerge. This has consequences for how people learn, collaborate and coordinate their work. Professions are changing, new practices and roles emerge and organizations also adapt in ways that are difficult to predict.

Topics we study are for instance:

  • How does the use of digital technologies in daily work practices change professions and the organization of work (e.g. AI, HR analytics, robotics)?
  • New ways of working, mobile work and ubiquitous workplace and human capital development.
  • New ways of organizing and managing expertise (e.g. using online marketplaces).

With our research, we contribute to a more resilient future of work and a human-centric digital economy.

Organizing for Digital Innovation 

In this theme, we study collaboration for the development of digital innovations. Innovation processes change when the focus shifts to digital products and services. The development of digital innovations can be faster, will be more open-ended, distributed across boundaries, centered around platforms, and leading to disruption and convergence of industries. New forms of collaboration are also enabled by digital technologies.

Topics we study include:

  • Collaborative innovation around technology platforms and in innovation ecosystems.
  • Collaboration enabled by digital technology, such as in crowdsourcing or 3D printing communities.
  • Changing nature of innovation processes for digital products and services, thriving on experimentation, learning, and generativity.

With our research, we contribute to organizations that effectively collaborate to create value with and through digital technologies.

Managing Digital Transformation 

In this theme, we focus on the implications of digital transformation for organizations’ IT and data management. Digital innovation leads to new technologies, applications, and processes that need to be embedded in the organizational architecture and policies. Such innovation may also completely transform the organization’s business model, for instance, to create value from (big) data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. As innovation becomes increasingly digital, this also affects the role of those traditionally involved in the development, implementation, and maintenance of technologies: the role of IT- and data management itself changes.

Topics we study include:

  • Data-driven business innovation: how organizations can create value from (big) data, analytics and artificial intelligence,
  • Managing IT complexity: integrating new digital technologies, managing legacy systems, managing data quality, business-IT alignment.
  • The changing role of the IT organization: from service provider to innovation partner, organizing for bimodal IT, managing Agile software development, managing business intelligence and analytics.

With our research we contribute to organizations’ ability and capability to manage, and optimally benefit from, the implications of digital innovation.

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